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Ablation cuts atrial fibrillation dementia risk

Wednesday October 7th 2020

Patients with atrial fibrillation are at a reduced risk of dementia if they undergo catheter ablation, researchers report today.

The procedure lowers the raised risk of dementia seen in people with atrial fibrillation by restoring and maintaining a regular heart rhythm.

The study analysed 27,097 patients with newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation and found that the procedure reduced the rate of dementia during follow-up by 27% compared with patients on medication alone.

Participants were followed for up to twelve years, with at least half followed for 52 months. The dementia diagnosis rates were 5.6 per 1,000 person-years with catheter ablation and 8.1 per 1,000 person-years on medication. Full details are published in the European Heart Journal today (7 October).

Professor Boyoung Joung at Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea, led the study.

He said: ”This suggests that three people per 100 of the atrial fibrillation population avoid dementia if they undergo catheter ablation, and 34 patients would need to be treated to prevent one case of dementia during the follow-up period.”

Professor Gregory Lip of the University of Liverpool, UK, collaborated on the study. He said: “We found that successful ablation was significantly associated with a 44% reduced risk of dementia compared with medical therapy. But if ablation failed, we did not see a significant reduction in risk.

“This suggests that it is maintaining the regular rhythm of the heart with successful ablation, and not ablation itself, that may contribute to a lower risk of dementia in patients with atrial fibrillation.”

Kim, D. et al. Less dementia after catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation: a nationwide cohort study. European Heart Journal 7 October 2020; doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehaa726

Tags: Asia | Brain & Neurology | Heart Health | UK News

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1At 09/10/2020 02:52am William Haworth wrote

How long is recovery time after proceedure

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